Ontario extends support for ‘Made in Canada’ personal protective equipment

Published On June 2, 2020 | By Pooja Luthra | COVID-19, News
PPE clothing and equipment are seen in a classroom at Heath Mount Prep School as they prepare to reopen following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Watton-at-Stone, Britain, May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge
PPE clothing and supplies are seen in a classroom at Heath Mount Prep School as they prepare to reopen following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Watton-at-Stone, Britain, May 29, 2020. (REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge)
Pooja Luthra

Ontario will invest $2.8 million in local manufacturers to increase the production of personal protective equipment (PPE), the province’s economic development minister announced Tuesday.

“Many of our innovators have stepped up to help produce much needed medical supplies,” said Vic Fedeli, the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

“Now that we’re in the first stage of restarting our economy, I encourage all businesses to keep innovating and review our provincial safety guidelines in order to protect their employees in this new environment,” he said.

Southmedic Inc., Sterling Limited, and SRB Technologies are the three latest companies to be receiving support through the government launched Ontario Together Fund, Fedeli said.

The $50 million Ontario Together Fund is an initiative to encourage manufacturers, innovators, and entrepreneurs to support the development of essential supplies and equipment.

“Our government is proud to partner with our champions in the business community to establish ‘made-in-Ontario’ as the gold-standard for medical supplies and equipment here in Canada and around the world,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said.

Participating workers, entrepreneurs, and businesses are showing the full strength of Ontario’s manufacturing might by doubling or tripling their output in the fight against COVID-19, he said during his daily press conference at Queen’s Park.

Fedeli said Southmedic Inc., an Ontario-based medical device manufacturer, would receive $1.8 million to re-engineer and re-tool its current production and purchase new molding equipment.

“With this new equipment, the company will double its output of oxygen masks, triple its output of ETCO2 masks, which are specialty masks used to monitor breathing before ventilator use, and quadruple its output of eye and face shields to help meet the province’s need for PPE,” he said.

Southmedic Inc. announces the news of partnering with the government to manufacture home-grown PPE.

Sterling Industries, a contract manufacturer and assembler of medical devices and sub-components in Ontario, is getting about $1.02 million to increase its output of face shields to more than a million per week from 200,000 per week.

“This increased capacity will help Sterling Industries deliver 10 million face shields to Ontario Health more quickly,” Fedeli said.

SRB Technologies, a producer of self-powered emergency lighting and self-powered exit signs in the province, is to receive $59,889 to manufacture medical-grade face shields to supply them to regional hospitals and long-term care facilities, he said.

“These innovators will increase their output of personal protective equipment to meet the provinces’ needs and help keep our frontline workers and communities safe,” Fedeli said.

Ford said Canadians will support local manufacturing.

“I’m going to be pushing made-in-Canada,” he said. “We are the best manufacturing, the best ingenuity, the best engineering anywhere in the world.”

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